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FAQs on guidelines for employees who are travelling

Find out the regions affected by COVID-19, and what you should do if you need to travel for work.

I have Malaysian workers who commute to Singapore daily. What should I do now with the lockdown measures of Malaysia?Show

Please encourage your workers to stay and work in Singapore. They can stay with their relatives or friends.

They can also consider staying at hotels, hostels or dormitories.

If you or your workers need assistance with housing, please contact us. Please be assured that there are available options to meet your workers’ housing needs.

I have Malaysian workers who used to commute to Singapore daily. If they could no longer commute to Singapore for work because of the lockdown measures in Malaysia, how should I handle their leave / salary matters?Show

We advise employers to assess their manpower needs carefully and make a considered decision whether they need their Malaysian workers to remain in Singapore before the Malaysian lockdown takes effect on 18 March 2020. If they do need the workers, employers can encourage them to stay in Singapore and may wish to refer to MOM’s 17 March 2020 press release for the range of options to accommodate these workers.

For workers who do not stay in Singapore and cannot commute here for work on or after 18 March 2020, employers can place them on no-pay leave. Alternative leave arrangements will be by mutual consent.

What are the regions affected by COVID-19?Show

MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel abroad until further notice.

All returning residents (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (work passes, Dependant’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who fulfil the criteria below will be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN):

  • From 18 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) will be placed on SHN.
  • From 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea will be placed on SHN.
  • From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in South Korea, northern Italy and Iran, will be placed on SHN.
  • From 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in Italy, France, Spain and Germany will be placed on SHN.
  • From 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in ASEAN countries*, Japan, the United Kingdom and Switzerland will be placed on SHN.
  • From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers will be placed on SHN.

From 23 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. Due to the heightened risk of importing the COVID-19 cases, MOM is restricting the entry of pass holders (work pass and their dependants) into Singapore. Priority to be granted entry approval will be given to companies that provide essential services (e.g. healthcare and transport) and are supported by the relevant government agencies. Those that are not will be rejected.

In the event that travel is unavoidable, travellers should also take precautionary measures.

* List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel abroad until further notice.

Employers should take note that all returning residents (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (work passes, Dependant’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who fulfil the criteria below will be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN):

  • From 18 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) will be placed on SHN.
  • From 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea will be placed on SHN.
  • From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in South Korea, northern Italy and Iran, will be placed on SHN.
  • From 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in Italy, France, Spain and Germany will be placed on SHN.
  • From 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in ASEAN countries*, Japan, United Kingdom and Switzerland will be placed on SHN.
  • From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers will be placed on SHN.

From 23 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. Due to the heightened risk of importing the COVID-19 cases, MOM is restricting the entry of pass holders (work pass and their dependants) into Singapore. Priority to be granted entry approval will be given to companies that provide essential services (e.g. healthcare and transport) and are supported by the relevant government agencies. Those that are not will be rejected.

Employers should also note that the following employees are required to serve a 14-day self-isolation at dedicated SHN facilities:

  • Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders returning from the United Kingdom and the United States from 25 March 2020, 2359 hrs.
  • Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders returning from ASEAN countries, France, India, Switzerland from 5 April 2020, 2359 hrs.
  • Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders returning from all countries from 9 April 2020, 2359 hrs

Once these employees arrive in Singapore, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost of the facility will be absorbed by the Government. For more information, please read MOH’s press release: Expansion of enhanced Stay-Home Notice requirements to more countries.

Employees will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period, under the SHN measures.

Employers should also note and inform employees that any Singapore resident or Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore. Singapore residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.

Employers should evaluate the risks and make a considered decision on whether to proceed with work-related travel plans. Alternatives, such as video conferencing or postponing the trip, should be considered. Employers should also refer to the MOH guidelines on MOH’s website on the measures that travellers should adopt when overseas.

For employees whose work is performed overseas, employers should ensure that employees are adequately protected or monitored in accordance to MOH's guidelines.

In the event that the employee rejects the work trip to places which have travel advisories issued against them due to public health concerns, employers should not penalise employees who reject the work trip due to safety and health concerns.

* List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

What should employees returning from travel or planning to travel take note of?Show

From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees should note that those entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, employers should advise employees to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, returning employees from all countries will be placed on SHN. Returning employees should note that they will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

Employees should also be reminded that from 27 Mar 2020, 0900 hrs, all travellers arriving in Singapore, including residents (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents), and Long-Term Pass Holders (student’s pass, dependant’s pass, work pass, long-term visit pass holders) must submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance. They will have to do so via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service. The health declaration will be made available before 27 March 2020 as part of the SGAC e-service, so that travellers who are due to arrive in Singapore after 27 March, 0900 hours, can complete it in advance of their arrival.

Upon the submission of their health declaration, travellers will be notified electronically via email on the need to comply with the 14-day SHN on arrival in Singapore. This allows travellers to be notified of their SHN requirements earlier, instead of only during the immigration clearance in Singapore. At the same time, they will be made aware of the penalties under Section 21A of the IDA if they fail to comply with the requirements.

For pass holders who transited at or travelled from UK or US and arrive in Singapore from 25 March 2020, 2359 hrs, they are required to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at designated facilities. They cannot serve the SHN at their own homes. Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost for the facility will be absorbed by the Government.

Employees should also note that any Singapore resident or Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore. Singapore residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.